Denton Public Library kicked off its Summer Reading Club on Friday with a message for readers of all ages.
“No matter how old you are, you can always learn new things,” Professor Brainius — a.k.a. Scott Logan — told a crowd at North Branch Library. “There’s no limit to what you read.”
Professor Brainius helped launch the annual reading club with appearances at all three Denton Public Library branches on Friday.
Logan, an Aubrey resident, captivated children with science experiments that included spraying confetti into the crowd and bouncing a tennis ball off the top of a dribbling basketball. He mixed ingredients in a plastic cup, setting off a chemical reaction that caused the ingredients to morph into a hat-shaped structure.
More than 6,000 children and adults participated in last year’s Summer Reading Club, and organizers hope to sign up even more readers this year, according to a library official.
The free program encourages children and adults of all ages to read at least 20 minutes a day through Aug. 8. For every 10 days logged and completed, participants have opportunities to receive free books and prizes.
“Our main goal is to get kids to read for pleasure during the summer,” public services librarian Dana Tucker said. “Research has shown that [for] kids that don’t read during the summer, their reading level decreases.”
Adults who participate in the program serve as a “good role model” for children, demonstrating how enjoyable reading can be, Tucker said.
The theme for this year’s program is “Fizz, Boom, Read!” Throughout the summer, Tucker said, the library branches will conduct several science-themed programs, and the Denton Community Theatre will present stories, poems and music to help promote the reading club.
Twelve Denton schools will compete with each other through the Summer Reading Club. The school with the highest percentage of reading in a 10-day period will receive $250 to buy books for its school library, Tucker said.
Andy Goin of Denton attended Friday’s kickoff event with his wife, Lea, and their three boys, ages, 3, 5 and 7. Goin, who was toting a large bag of library books, said his family has participated in the Summer Reading Club for the last four years.
“We think it really encourages the boys to read. We just like that there’s an encouragement to read over the summer when usually they want to go outside and focus on other things,” he said. “This really helps them stay focused on reading. It’s always something positive.”
This is the second year Courtney Croy and her five children, ranging in age from 2 to 8, have participated in Denton’s summer reading program. Last year, she said, her son was having trouble reading and she thought having him read over the summer would help him improve. It worked.
“It makes it fun and really encouraging with the prizes,” Croy said. “That really encourages them to get the time in with the books.”
In addition to signing up Summer Reading Club participants, the library is also looking for volunteers ages 11 and older to man the club tables at each branch, sign up participants and distribute prizes.
To sign up for the Summer Reading Club, visit any Denton library. For more information about volunteering, visit http://bit.ly/1mZc3Y4.